The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Ziegler penned a superb article about Red Wings ambassador Chris Chelios, who is currently serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team:
Chelios retired in 2010 after 26 seasons and 1,651 games in the NHL, the most by a defenseman. He worked in the Detroit Red Wings front office for a while, as a Fox TV analyst and as an assistant coach for Team USA at international youth tournaments.
But mostly he hung out at his beachfront home in Malibu, went snowboarding in Utah, traveled around to watch his daughters play lacrosse at Northwestern and his son play minor league hockey with the Charlotte Checkers.
He was in Malibu in August, sitting on the deck, gazing out at the Pacific, when his cell phone buzzed. It was Jim Johannson, the general manager of USA Hockey and a former teammate at Wisconsin. Did he want to go to a fifth Olympics?
“From out of nowhere,” Chelios said. “It wasn’t like Jimmy Johannson had mentioned it to me or asked me if I’d be interested. I just got a call. Right away, yes. Really honored and thankful that these guys picked me.”
The obvious next step for Chelios, 56, is to become an NHL head coach, but he has never been an obvious sort of guy.